Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Class Notes: At Van Tech, there lived a few hobbits

Hobbit banquet celebrates J.R.R. Tolkien novel
Van Tech
Van Tech student Lucas Lum recites a riddle that Katherine “Smaug” Westereng knew the answer to. The class was part of a Hobbit Banquet at the secondary school Nov. 27.

Van Tech secondary students rapped Hobbit-style in their library last Wednesday.

Multiple Bilbo Baggins and Gandalfs transformed the secondary school’s library into Hobbiton to celebrate all they’d learned from the J.R.R. Tolkien classic.

English teacher Denise Clark started the student-organized Hobbit banquet in 2004 when she was teaching Summit 8 for students who are gifted in math and English.

“I believe it’s important to make literature come to life and since Hobbits like to eat, a banquet was a perfect fit,” Clark told the Courier in an email.

Teacher Kim Beaucock has carried on and expanded the tradition that sees students craft riddles and speeches, organize the event and enthusiastically dress and act as a character.

“I particularly liked it when one student rolled in the dirt for part of his costume,” Clark said.

While some of Katherine Westereng’s classmates felt the novel rambled a bit, the 13-year-old said they were all excited about the Hobbit Banquet.

“If the kids have fun with something they remember it better and they learn more,” Beaucock said.

Westereng said in her speech that The Hobbit taught her class “how to take risks, be brave and not to be afraid to step outside of our comfort zone.”

Note: A spelling of a name in the photo cutline has been corrected since this story was first posted.